Arsenal start the penultimate season of the Premier league from one of the worst positions they have been for a long, long, time. In what could be Arsene Wenger’s last season it could end up as the Gunners’ most dismal of all times. At the 6th spot of the Premier League Table, they are now even behind Manchester United by 2 points and 7 points behind their Sunday rivals, Manchester City. Wenger’s erratic deployment of his star striker, Alexis Sanchez, is one of the major reasons for the side’s recent plight. In both recent defeats of 1-3 against Liverpool and West Bromwich, he introduced the Chilean striker briefly and on both occasions, he produced results, making one wonder why the mercurial forward wasn’t played for longer periods. Sanchez is back from his international duties for his country in the WC 2018 qualifiers and fans hope he will there to spend the full 90 minutes on the field against Manchester City at the Emirates. While good at ball-possession, it’s been the lack of scoring opportunities that’s been setting the Gunners back hugely. The under-utilized Lucas Perez needs to feature more and so does the speedy Theo Walcott on the wings, despite his average form of late. Winger Oxlade-Chamberlain’s poor show for England in the WC qualifiers should put his place in the starting XI for the April 2 clash in some jeopardy. The back-line quartet of Bellerín, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal have been hugely susceptible to counter-attacks even against lesser sides like West Bromwich. So, when ranged against the likes of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, De Bruyne and Silva, the Gunner defence will have very few answers.
The recent performances of Pep Guardiola’s men have been far from overwhelming, though, given all their firepower. A run of five Premier League wins post the 0-4 Everton debacle was somewhat punctured by two tame draws against Stoke City and Liverpool. Their problems were not very dissimilar to Arsenal – lot of ball possession but no scoring opportunities. But not having lost in any of their past seven Premier League outings, City will be in a more positive mindset than their forthcoming rivals who have conceded defeats in four matches from their previous seven. The comforting statistics for a tottering Arsenal are that they have lost in only 2 of their 13 Premier League games at home in the ongoing 2016-17 season and have lost to Manchester City only once in their previous seven encounters.
But the host’s terrible run of form of late have caused bookmakers to wager on a comfortable Man City win.
Man City to Win, Best Odds 5/4 @ Bet365
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